(JTA) — For a 91-year-old Holocaust survivor and friend of the renowned teenage diarist Anne Frank, laying the first brick for a new monument to victims of the genocide was a “special moment.”
“I’m satisfied that it’s finally happening,” Van Maarsen was among several dozen people, including other Holocaust survivors, who gathered in Amsterdam to lay the first part of the building, which is designed to have about 102,000 bricks — one bearing the name of each of the Shoah’s identified victims in the Netherlands.
Amsterdam has multiple monuments for Holocaust victims.
The brick laid by van Maarsen was named for Dina Frankenhuis, a secretary who was murdered by the Nazis and their collaborators in 1943 in the Sobibor death camp in occupied Poland. She was 20.
“I’m satisfied that it’s finally happening,” said van Maarsen, whose father was Jewish. “It’s a beautiful design with all the names on it.”
Her family survived the war because van Maarsen’s mother was Christian.